tv Michelle Obama Parents Need to Make Healthy Eating Decisions for Children CSPAN May 12, 2017 9:08pm-10:03pm EDT
join "washington journal" on monday, as we learn about a new organization, and learn from and reporters. joining us is the cofounder and national political reporter covering the trump presidency, and republican leadership. caitlin owens, reporter, and mark allen, cofounder and executive editor. journal" onngtnoon c-span. former first lady michelle obama discussed childhood obesity and her "let's move" initiative in washington dc, hosted by the partnership for a healthier america. she also criticized a recent trump administration decision.
announcer: ladies and gentlemen, please welcome a fifth-grade student at capital city public charter school here in the district of columbia. [applause] >> hello. i am excited to be here today. i would like to thank my school for giving me this opportunity, my parents for supporting me and coming to this event. when i was in fourth grade, i got to go to the white house garden and cook with first lady michelle obama. sweetlooking to harvest potatoes with miss obama, and i got the chance to harvest tomatoes, and terrorists that were included in our lunch
followed the harvest. i enjoyed that experience. now i spend more time in the kitchen cooking homemade recipes . i started doing healthy recipes like making my own salad. michelle obama also inspired me to someday grow my own garden. school and a department of education green ribbon school also inspire me to go outside more and play. i am thankful for these experiences, is now i eat healthier. and being healthy makes me more active and engage with learning. now i am excited to introduce two people to the stage who helped me make these experiences possible. -- mr. sam kass, and former first lady michelle obama. [applause]
mrs. obama: hey, everybody. sam: how is it going? how is everybody? mrs. obama: wasn't brooke amazing? she was a little itty bitty person when she first showed up at the white house and now she is a young lady. sam: now those kids are going to college. mrs. obama: i know. we did a reunion for the last garden dedication and we had some of the kids that planted the original garden and they were on their way to college. man, sam, you're old. sam: it's true. first off, how are you? how is it being free? [laughter]
sam what's going on? : mrs. obama: i'm good. i'm good. just hanging out. everything is really great. being former is all right. i'm good with it. everybody's good. the president's good. he's running around out there in the world with his shirt unbuttoned. [laughter] sam: that's the news that's going to come out of this. mrs. obama: the girls are good. we settled into our new home and we have new offices, so we've been doing a lot of housekeeping. the schedule still seems pretty busy. i don't know why that is. i need to talk to my staff about that, but it's good. sam: a little pressure off feels nice. mrs. obama: a lot of pressure off feels great. sam: i will take that. let's reflect a little bit. i find myself trying to make sense of what happened over the last 10 years really and obviously that happened bit by bit.
but when the kids were really young, barack was starting to make moves. you were the breadwinner, by the way. mrs. obama: mmhmm. sam: how do you look back on yourself and the family and going about your business having no idea what was about to happen to you? how do you remember that time? mrs. obama: i was back in chicago last week for the rollout of the new obama presidential center and got to stay at home for a few hours. in that kitchen where it all began because sam was helping us out at that time because i was doing a lot of traveling and holding down a full-time job, the kids were little. i was campaigning as well as working. my husband wasn't around. i was in a position where many that -- that many working families find themselves in him a trying to keep my kids healthy and not doing that successfully. i had known sam since he was a
teenager. and finding out that he was a chef and engaged in healthy cooking -- he had worked with families that turned their diets around. i ran into him and said, can you help us? having you come into our lives at a very hectic moment and just helping us kind of clean out our way of being, getting rid of the sugary snacks and taking the kids to farmers markets. i remember as we were going through the cleaning up process and getting rid of processed foods. the kids were sadly looking out the refrigerator as fun thing d intofun thing was chucke the garbage. one of the things malia said was, can i keep the boxed macaroni and cheese? please don't throw that out. sam: she drew a line at the mac
and cheese. mrs. obama: you said the rule is that we can keep real food. if you can show me how to turn this block of cheese into this powdery substance, that is your boxed macaroni and cheese, then we can keep it. that was at the time that they were even too big to stand up at the stove without a step stool. he got her stepstool, little apron, a little knife and a block of cheese, and she sat there for a good hour trying to master eight that she's into power --heese into into powder. sam: she put it in the oven and tried to dry it out. [laughter] it was a sweet. mrs. obama: it was so sad. [laughter] sam: she was like, you win, and slunk out of the kitchen. mrs. obama: the point that you made was that we could still have mac & cheese. it has to be real cheese, real pasta, real food. those early times, that was the beginning of the thought process
of how do we begin to provide the kind of information that parents need about how to feed and keep their children healthy? because i struggled with it until you came into the picture. i didn't even realize i was having a problem with it. those early days were important and watching how the girls opened up to this new process. they were not the problems. the kids were not the problems, it was the parents. it was us changing our habits that we need to overcome. sam: they started driving it. at a certain point, they start putting their foot down and said no, mom. they started leading the way, and we have seen that time and time again. we saw that in the garden. mrs. obama: we see it in kids like brooke, who have turned their houses around and lifestyles around as they have gotten the bug and they've gotten the information. those early days were precious, very precious. sam: so we took that after we would dream and chuckle at
ourselves with our big visions and we thought, that's not going to happen, is it? we did and the first thing that happened was we planted that garden. what was your expectation going and and what actually happened? what does that hold? mrs. obama: it seemed like a simple concept, but when we really started to do it, when we found out first of all but the national park service is would let us dig up the white house -- sam: which was a thing. mrs. obama: we didn't know. it was just an idea. but when the answer was yes the , soil was good quality and everyone was excited about it. then i remember when we first started and digging everything out, i looked at sam and said, dude this better work. , what if nothing grows? we've launched this big thing. there was nothing certain about that idea.
but it all started from that place of seeing this thing from the eyes of kids and their are living in cities and communities where they don't even see a batch table. they don't have access to a grocery store, let alone to watch the process of something they put into the ground become something they can consume. it was a very simple but powerful concept. in the backyard of the most famous and important and iconic house in the country seemed like a powerful beginning . we always had the vision that this would be something that wedding gauge kids, that they would help us plant, that they would come and harvest, that they would eat the food. they would get access to the people's house. that they would come to see the white house as just another cool place that they get to go to all
the time. that relationship that we developed with two area schools that always came, they just became like they were so confident in their access to the white house. they were like, yeah we been there. kids would walk up and be like, where's barack? [laughter] i'm like, he's at work. they just felt really comfortable, but that was all part of it because we won the -- we wanted other kids seeing kids having fun with food. when we would cook from the garden, that was the best thing. we would be out on the south lawn. the chefs would be in their hats, the national parks people would be out there. and the stuff that they planned it would be washed right out there and they would cut it and prepare some of the best pizza and pasta.
you just got that food right there and it's really good. as you can see, i'm still excited about the whole notion. sam: it was powerful. i remember the last harvest that i participated in, we made a kale salad. we sat down and a little boy -- you know, there's like 200 press and all eyes. and you are there and there was all this excitement. and this little boy leans over to me and says i've never had , salad before. but like scared. he has never tasted salad and this is a pretty big time to have your first salad. [laughter] mrs. obama: like it could go badly. sam: this could go really badly. there were a few moments where i was all psyched about feeding the kids some raw vegetables and didn't realize, what am i doing? this could be a disaster. mrs. obama: right in front of the press. when they scrape it off their tongues and they are gagging. you know kids. it could've gone horribly bad. sam: i remember them saying this better not go wrong. oh my god i can't sleep at
, night. but this little boy, i said, don't worry. just have a taste. if you don't like it, you don't have to eat it. he said i will taste it. he takes one bite and screams, it's delicious! it's because you give a kid a chance to participate and take agency. he helped make that salad and he was begging for seconds. we saw that play out so many times. as you look back on "let's move," talk to me a little about your thinking around how we position the issue. why focus on kids as opposed to the bigger thing? i think we wanted to position this in a way that was hard to go against. mrs. obama: first of all, the numbers were real. this wasn't fake news. obesity rates are rising and
continue to rise among our youngest. we are seeing kids have higher rates of stroke, heart disease, diabetes, and these are real numbers. all these things are preventable illnesses. we are living in a time where our kids may have a shorter life span than us. the first time in sort of the history of mankind that we are in this position and there's reasons for it. if you think about it, it's not complicated. it's nobody's fault. but diets have changed. habits have changed. people's lives are busier. parents are working. people don't cook as much. they're using more processed foods, foods in bags and things that are quick and things that you can cook in a microwave. people are going out more and it's more fast food and they don't know what's in the food.
maybe it's kids meals that are so attractive, but the calories just add up. everything is convenient, but nobody is thinking about, what does that convenience cost in terms of calories and sugar intake and on and on? and then on the activity side, schools are eliminating gym and recess. kids are more sedentary. the iphones and ipads and more time in front of screens. unsafe neighborhoods that you don't even want your kids to be outside. lack of access to produce and rural and urban poor communities. i could go on and on. it's no one's fault, but it's true. it's real. you start with that truth that our kids are actually being affected by some of the choices we are making. the thing is that parents didn't even realize that their choices were having this kind of impact. shoot, if i didn't know, a harvard trained blah blah blah,
i'm supposed to know better. i didn't know. the point was, if i don't know, then what are other parents doing? you can't read labels and you don't understand what you're getting. you don't know what the calorie count is on that nice kids meal that you just got. you just don't know. we start with the premise that first of all everyone cares , about kids. you know? let's just stop there. it's our kids. this is not political. everybody's got them -- republicans, democrats, independents. every religion has kids. we all have kids. every race, we all have kids. and kids are innocent. they come here innocent. they come here only doing what we tell them to do. they follow us. so let's start there because maybe what people can do for
-- cannot do for themselves, they can do for their kids. i knew so many moms who were eating the wrong things for themselves and not working out. but if they knew their kids were being impacted, they would change everything. with a bad doctor's visit, with a cautionary -- you are moving into diabetes territory for your children. that wakes parents up in ways they won't do for themselves. starting with kids seemed like the only place start. and then making it fun and not placing blame and try not to be nanny state, right? try not to tell people you're doing it wrong and this is how you do it. it's really like, let's just try to make this fun. let's plant a garden. let's show kids what a vegetable is. let's try to make it taste good. let's try to work with businesses and help them help
families. sell your products. make your money, but just do it in a way that is until our kids. -- in a way that does not kill our kids. how about that? we can work together on that. i will still buy your stuff, but help me understand that what i buy is going to help my kids grow up healthy. work with us. that's really the philosophy of "let's move." and then let's move. let's dance a little bit. movement does not to be some horrific exercise where you're sweating and looking all pained. for kids, it's movement. it's play. if you think about how much play has been cut out the lives of our kids, not because the parents want it, but because of budget cuts and decisions that have to be made, let's get her -- let's get our kids moving again. let's get them doing the things they were born to do -- running, jumping, playing a game, walking the dog.
this is a complicated. this is not hard. children's metabolisms are such that all it takes is better balanced meals, little more movement, and they are good. we are the ones, you get me at 53, shoot, i can't lose a pound. we do have it hard. kids, it doesn't take that much to get them to a better state of health. keeping it simple, fun, not to o complicated, not placing blame, and building partnerships rather than pointing fingers was really all at the core of "let's move." sam: you really always made us focus on you have to meet people where they are, go where they are come not just keep asking everybody to come to us, and speak in a way which people understand. mrs. obama: that's why the with "drink up," we didn't say
stop drinking sodas. we said start drinking more water. we thought if you are having water, you will have room for other stuff. sam: that's what the evidence says. mrs. obama: by the way. sam: that's what the research said. it's a message crafted to bring positivity, which is what sells. if you look at how people market products, they don't say don't drink their product. they say drink this product and be happy. open happiness and be full of love. that connection is how people make decisions. part of the thing is really try to bring that insight into how we talk about health. we do it in a way that we know is going to work. the other thing you always stressed to us was we have to make this easier for people. right now we keep telling people , you have to live healthier. things are not going right, and all these dire statistics. we leave folks on their own to try to figure it out. mrs. obama: that's why the school lunch program continues to be so important.
here's the thing. we already know that there are millions of kids who get most of their calories at school. they're getting breakfast and lunch. maybe you are good because you have a chef at home and you are cooking and you are sending these healthy brown bag lunches. maybe you're good, but what about the millions of kids who are relying every day for every calorie, every healthy calorie for that school lunch? [applause] mrs. obama: let's think about them for just a minute. so even if you are one of those kids and one of those parents and because of your circumstance, you rely on those meals, even if you are trying to do the right thing at home, if you send them to school and everything you are doing is undermined at breakfast and lunch, it makes it harder. as you say, let's make it easier for parents who are trying to do the right thing. and how about we not let kids
completely guide everything you , know? how about we start there? how about we stop asking kids how they feel about their food? because kids -- my kids included -- they could eat pizza and french fries every day with ice cream on top and a soda. they would think they were happy. until they got sick, right? until they got sick. right? that, to me, is one of the most ridiculous things we talk about in this movement. "the kids aren't happy." you know what? kids don't like math, either. we going to cut history out because kids don't like history? we are the adult in the room. they look to us. let's stop with that. i'm good if kids are mad at me. my kids are mad at me at home all the time, and i'm like, "i'm
not your friend. i'm your mother. you don't have to like me, but i'm helping you be a better, healthier person." let's lead like adults. the school lunch program is critical to help make things easier for families, not to undermine the work that they are doing. i went off there for a second. i'm sorry. >> that's why we are here. mrs. obama: i digress. >> school lunch is obviously a big part of the legacy of your work at the white house. what are some of the other things that stand out to you? of inlse are you proud your time with let's move? if you want to expand that to your time as first lady, feel free. i'm proud of the pha
, first of all. this group, the work -- i had a conversation with jim gavin recently, and the pha was probably the smartest thing that we've done out of the white house, helping to build an outside nonprofit organization that depoliticize is this work and can work hand-in-hand with the private sector in the public sector and build partnerships in a positive way, and the fact the summit is the biggest and most successful -- it does make me proud. having the pha means that this work moves it beyond politics. yes, i'm involved and i will continue to be involved not because i was the first lady but because i care about this issue, and it's not going away, but the reason why we will be able to continue to make progress is because of the people in this
room and the people who have continued to push and to march and continued to make commitments, the corporations doing this outside of sometimes even their own business interests, but they are learning that it is within their business interests. leading in that way -- this is smart. .his is how change happens you cannot always count on the government. we would like to, but you can not always. government can't solve this alone. corporations have to come to the table -- schools, educators. this is all our fight. the pha is leading in such an amazing way. this is another thing that i think i'm probably very proud of when it comes to let's move. i'm also proud of the fact that there has been a culture shift. shoot, i live in a bubble. i lived in the bubble for eight years. i count on you to tell me what's
going on out there, really, and i am trying to get back out there, but from what i can tell, things have changed in the last eight years. the products in our stores, even how things are placed. i can tell the commercials how people market food differently. that's why the companies are responding because consumers, you all, the parents have started changing your behaviors. one of the things that we said at the outset is that if you change, the market will follow you. and that has happened in many ways. not perfectly and that -- not seamlessly, but i'm proud of the fact that people are reading more labels and they are more thoughtful about this. this is something top of mind that they are not taking for granted how they feed their families. people are thinking about movement. that's huge. that's where change really happens. i can't take credit for that. i think let's move is a potential catalyst, but a lot of
that are regular folks, folks in this room and folks outside who are hearing these messages and they are making the necessary changes. i think that that is amazing. sam: i'm just going to have to say that you have been the single biggest force on public health that people who have been working on this for a long time ever had. your leadership has had a transformative impact. i respectfully disagree. [applause] sam: i will also say that from the very beginning you made it clear to us as we thought about how to actually try to make the country healthier that this was never about you. it was always designed to transcend you, transcend the white house, and really take on a life of its own. we stuck to it like that and -- we structured it like that and it's been pretty powerful to see people taking up the call. everywhere you go, there somebody who started some class somewhere. they are doing some product of
church and they're doing walking clubs. it's remarkable. it's everywhere. mrs. obama: it's not just in the united states but internationally. when i was first lady, anytime i would meet a spouse of the leader of another country, it would be the first thing they would want to talk about. they would compare what they were doing, what the schools were doing in their countries is -- versus what we were doing here. this is something in the united states that we can say we have been leading off for quite some time and we should continue to be a leader in this area. i think we will look back on this in generations to come and we will be grateful that we stopped this trend and we started now so that the kids born today are thinking about these issues completely differently. and you can change things in a generation. we got in this mess and a -- in a generation. if you think about it, i always talk about it. we didn't grow up this way. i know i didn't, and we were poor folks. but you always had a vegetable. i had a grandmother that would
peas with hamburgers, which was like, no grandma. it's hamburgers and french fries. not hamburgers and peas. she would have peas in a salad. my mother grew up with victory gardens. that's where they got their fresh produce. my father talked about the vegetable truck that would drive around the neighborhood. vegetables were some of the cheapest, easiest foods to prepare -- grains and beans. we were eating healthy and people were moving and you didn't go out to dinner. my grandmother thought it was crazy to eat out. we grew up differently. this isn't inevitable. it's been created because the culture has changed and it's hard to realize that when you are in the midst of it. that's why it's no one's fault. we are just sort of the victims of the way that things are.
that means that we can also change it, that it doesn't have to be this way forever. we can implement new habits and new routines in our household. we can go back to the way things were with the added benefits of the technologies of today. we have a lot more work to do for sure. we have to make sure we don't let anybody take us back. the question is where we going back to? [applause] mrs. obama: what is it that people -- this is where you really have to look at motives. you have to stop and think, why don't you want our kids to have good food at school? what is wrong with you? [applause] [cheering] mrs. obama: and why is that a partisan issue? why would that be political? what is going on?
now that's up to moms. moms, think about this. i don't care what state you live in. take me out of the question. like me, don't like me, but think about why someone is ok with your kids eating crap? why would you celebrate that? why would you sit idly and be ok with that? because here's the secret. if somebody is doing that, they don't care about your kids. and we need to demand everyone to care deeply about our kids. that's all we have. [applause] mrs. obama: so we should be -- we should be driving this. and every elected official on this planet should understand don't play with our children. don't do it. [applause]
sam: so we have already seen them try to ensure that there's tons of salt, less whole grains, ok? the core of our work is intact, but it just doesn't make any sense. delay on menu labeling so we don't have basic information and make choices. mrs. obama: you should know what you're eating. think about that. stop there and think about that. you should know what you're eating. you're ok with that? do you know people who are ok with that? i just find myself thinking that this isn't my fight. this is where you have got to look yourselves in the eye. we have to look our neighbors in the eye and kind of go -- what is going on? this just isn't that complicated. just tell me what's in my food. why is that a problem? you have to ask yourself what's going on? because i don't get it. i don't understand it.
sam: the question for us is there is now talk of delaying the nutritional fact panel, which is just another sample of just simple information so families can make better choices. mrs. obama: keep families ignorant. that's all i'm hearing. you don't need to know what's in your food. you can handle that, mom. just buy this, be quiet, spend your money. don't ask us about what's in your food. how does that feel? how does that feel? this isn't information you should know. we shouldn't change the label to make it clear and easy for you to break down what you are buying. consumers out there, again, i don't care where you're from, what your party is, i would be highly insulted by that thought.
you want to talk about nanny state and government intervention -- just by the food and be quiet. you will need to know what is in it. that is essentially what a move like this is saying. sam: the question is do they hear from us? to leadership know that people are listening and paying attention? mrs. obama: they think you don't care. what they hear from are the people who want their kids to eat whatever they want to it. sam: they hear from companies, too, who don't want to tell you how much sugar is in their products. mrs. obama: why is that, companies? companies? why don't you want to tell people what they are eating? they will still probably buy it. just help us out. help us, companies. help us be good parents. help us do the right thing. just help us, that is all. sam: we have seen some incredible leadership by some
, and it is time for some of those companies to step up and do what is right, make sure we continue to make progress and make sure we know who is fighting against it. it is up to us to make both wrote -- vote politically, and to vote with our wallets, if we are going to preserve the progress that has been made. mrs. obama: i want to support companies that want to help me as a mother. that is who i want to put my dollars behind. i don't want to tell you want to make, i just want to help me understand. what is this doing to my kid, what is this doing to me, my family, isn't making as healthy? just let us know. that is where we have the power. you buy what you buy. they will follow your dollars. the question is where are you spending your money, are you paying attention? that is the other thing. a lot of this happens because --
fact labels? who cares about that. this is where stuff happens when people don't hate attention. they think it does not matter, they don't want to get involved, it is too complicated. and before you know it, childhood obesity rates are through the roof. we cannot keep wondering why the we got here because we were not paying attention. again, not blame game, just reality. you take your eye off the ball on things and you let other people determine what you are eating, how you are moving, and before you know it, your kids have type 2 diabetes and you are confused and shocked and hurt. and i hope you have health care. sam: that's right. [applause] sam: clap for that one.
just to follow up a little bit on that sentiment, you know, everybody cares about food, as you say. everyone is engaged in some way, about this. they care about their kids. people are passionate about what they eat one way or the other. maybe they passionately like their cheeseburgers or want to be healthy, whatever it may be. for school nutrition, over 90% of parents support good standards in school food. but people are not voting on that, people don't seem to be politically engaged. do you think that is a failing of advocates? what needs to change, and is that an important place to focus? mrs. obama: people in the society are used to being marketed to. we take in a lot of stuff, but it has to be a good commercial, good music, it has to make me
laugh you you have people voting on candidates for an election based on whether or not they like the people. these things are not popularity contests, but this is how people take in -- do i know the person, are they famous? just use different determiners to make our decisions and they are not necessarily connected. so we have to be better at messaging to people in ways that they hear it. to think that somebody is going to read some legislation that was published in some cr. you talk about this stuff and i'm like, what? i don't understand. if i don't understand it, the average person does not
understand it. that is why marketing and conversation and messages are important because people are not hearing this stuff now. our side, we have to get smarter with how we disseminate information, how we keep people informed, because people are busy. parents are consumed with life, so it is hard, out of all the things you have to think about, then follow the fact label, legislative process, that is not going to happen. in all truth, it is too much. so we have to get clever about how we get this information to people so that they, in real time, can make good decisions. how do you connect these issues to politics? what does the fact label have to do with the next election? i don't think the average person knows that. it is unrealistic to expect them to make those connections without some real strategy to make that happen. and who needs to be doing that?
it is the politicians, we need to do a better job. nonprofit organizations that are really thinking about their message. it is people with money, who have to put money behind messages that are good, as well as putting money behind messages that are just profitable. because it takes money to get the message out. that is why you hear about soda more than carrots. they have more marketing dollars. bottom line, they can have commercials on tv all the time. when was the last time he saw a arrot commercial with a jingle and a movie star? they cannot afford it, the carrot people. poor carrot people. sam: we are working on changing that. mrs. obama: but money matters in messaging. there are folks out there with dollars, so how do we put the resources behind it to make it
happen? sam: two more questions. mrs. obama: one. i love to mess with sam. sam: age-old tradition. [laughter] sam: there is this whole thing -- so, going into the white house, taking on these issues, we knew we were taking on a very complex set of issues here, a lot of entrenched interests, sensitivities, people don't like government messing with food. lots of dynamics, right? we knew we were going to get some pushback, but we also knew we would get pushback from advocates. were you surprised how that would play out? you would think, because we are fighting for the health of the little people, we would get rally support.
mrs. obama: initially it does surprise you. you know, sometimes -- what is it -- we think we can have everything. in a complicated society with complicated issues, with all of this diversity, different perspectives, people with different upbringings, religious backgrounds, that is what makes america great, but that is also what makes everything harder. look, if we were all alike, we would agree all the time. sometimes i'm surprised that advocates don't understand a win is not winning everything. not in this political climate. you have to celebrate every victory, even if it is not the whole thing. we wind up hurting ourselves
because we are so critical because we did not get everything. sometimes 30% is a victory. if we don't celebrate that 30%, then we have nobody celebrating the victory, right, because the opponents are like it is all , bad. our folks are like, not everything. it is just not a smart strategy. i don't take it personally but i wonder, what is the thinking behind criticizing improvements? i know you want to keep the pedal to the metal, you want to keep pushing. you never want to settle. but we all have to learn how to celebrate these incremental victories. in this nation, the political system is structured so that change does not happen in sweeping movements.
it does not work that way, there are too many checks and balances, and they are there for a reason. so we should not be surprised when we don't get everything. when i talk myself through it, maybe people are not -- they don't know enough of the grey to know how grey things are. nothing is black and white. it is hard to want to compromise. if you are on one side and believe in it so. as we teach our kids, life is a series of compromises. that does not mean that you lose, it just means you have to keep working harder. we have to be supportive of one another in our victories and if eats -- defeats. i think we can do better in that. [applause]
mrs. obama: i paid him. you will get your check after this, young man. sam: to build on that really briefly because i think it could not be more important -- the one thing we have that is priceless right now is so much momentum. once you have momentum, everything is possible. honestly, watching your husband and his trajectory have no momentum and then gain momentum and then see what happened from there, really taught me that. every time we got a win, we experienced lots of big wins that turned into losses, did not stop the mentum but slowed it at times. as a community, we have to really understand that our job is to cherish that momentum and try to grow it, even if you get half now and half later. we have to keep the momentum. that is something -- that was for our issues -- but that is for all kinds of issues. ok. it feels like you have been gone for a long time.
mrs. obama: no, it doesn't. sam: turns out it has only been a hundred and a few days. i know you are probably still figuring some things out. everybody wants to know, what is the plan? how are you thinking about the future? we are seeing a lot of progress, rates have started to come down for the first time. how are you thinking about your future on this? mrs. obama: that is what we will spend the next year doing. we are not gone, we are just breathing. just breathing, y'all. let us breathe. as i said at the outset, we have to get our new lives set up. that takes some effort, getting offices set up, establishing a new household in the making sure our kids are good. i have one kid going to college. another one just being 16. [laughter]
mrs. obama: thank you. you know, so there is still parenting and life and all of that good stuff. as i mentioned, we have the presidential center, there are big hopes and dreams for that. we are excited about the potential that the center can have, not just on the south side of chicago but in the country and in the world. it will be a platform for the issues that barack and i care most about including nutrition, health, all of that good stuff. but i am approaching the next chapter the way i approached this last chapter. i want to be strategic. i want to take time to get to understand what this new platform is. i am a former first lady. what does that mean? where are the needs, where are the gaps? i make sure that i'm not
redundant, that i do not supplant work that is there. that takes time to figure out. we did not launch let's move 100 days in. we took the time to understand, to learn, to meet the community of advocates to hopefully build credibility, to learn something, so that we did not get out there and look stupid, quite frankly. that takes time. we will be doing the same thing. as we exit. i want the folks here to know that my commitment to these issues are real. this didn't have anything to do with me being first lady. i picked this issue because there was deep passion for it, because of my position as a mother, not as first lady. when you hear me getting riled up in this chair, it is not politics, it is parenting that is really moving me.
because let me tell you something. our kids are so amazing, and that has been the biggest gift i had as first lady. i got to spend time traveling the country, traveling the world meeting kids like brooke, kids who planted with me, kids who we ed, kids frommentor all backgrounds, and they come to this stuff so pure. and we owe them so much. we owe them our best. we owe them putting aside our politics. we owe it to them to not be cynical. we owe it to them not to give up. we owe it to them to be honest, to be true, to be empathetic, to be compassionate. everything i do i think about the kids that are watching me. and my commitments. did i do what i said i was going to do? because that matters to kids.
that shapes them, and it can hurt them, when you disappoint them. so i operate from that place, because i love your kids as much as i love mine. i cannot help them in the same way, i cannot have the direct impact. i just wish we all operated from that place. if everyone on capitol hill down to every statehouse, every kitchen, every company, just operated from that place of what is best for our kids, what what i want for my grandchild, what what i want for my daughter, my son, my neighbor? if we operated from that place, these issues would be so clear. it would be easier for us. so with that said, i'm going to continue to work on this issue. there is nothing more important than our kids health. we can give them all the money in the world, we can give them a great education, and we are not doing that as well as we should.
we can expose them. but if we really want to make this country great, then our kids need to be healthy, and they need to have access to the best, and not just some of them, but all of them. they need the best that we can give them. i think that pha, the work you are doing here, is just beginning to take off. we will spend the next year figuring out what that looks like. what are the next steps, how can i be of help? how can i be a good partner? that will take a little time but i'm here. being here at this conference, this summit was important. i want to let you know, again, it doesn't matter what house i live in, whether it is girls education, healthy eating, our military families, i mean what i say, and i say what i mean.
you have got me as a partner as long as i can be of use. so the question for you is, where do you want me to stand, what do you want me to do? let me know and i will be here. sam: thank you so much for all of your leadership. mrs. obama: thank you. congratulations on a wonderful year. so proud of you all. thank you. [applause] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017] ontvturday at noon eastern
tv," the twitty 17 colby military writers' symposium. -- the 2017 colby military writers' symposium. in the recipient of this year's colby award and his book waging war, the class between presidents and congress, 1776 to isis. watch the 2017 colby military saturday atposium noon eastern on c-span two's tv."k >> sunday on "q&a," the comparisons between presidents donald trump and andrew jackson.
think he represents the positive values that jackson represented. he certainly represents some of the negative values that jackson represented, but i think i would tell president trump that if he wants to be like andrew jackson, he has to put mission in front of his own personhood, in front of his own family, in front of his own interest because that is what jackson did for most of his presidency. >> democratic national committee chair tom perez and former republican chair michael steele discuss bipartisanship at this event hosted by the aspen institute in washington, d.c. they talk about the 20 16th election and what their parties need to do to win in the future. this is an hour and 15 minutes.